This is a Chinese proverb from the Hsiang Yu Tales which means that the returning battleship will be sunk after a cauldron for cooking rice is broken into pieces, signifying the relentless spirit of protecting one’s country by one of the greatest heroes, Hsiang Yu of the Qin Dynasty. The Qin Dynasty at that time enjoyed days of glory by winning many battles with superb strategies compared to their counterparts. Thus, Hsiang Yu’s soldiers did not feel confident fighting against Qin soldiers. One day, Hsiang Yu’s army crossed the river named Jangha to enter into battle with the Qin army. However, after crossing the river, Hsiang Yu suddenly called out orders to destroy and sink their ship. Afterwards, he ordered that the soldiers reduce their rations to one-third. They had no ship to return to and no cauldron to cook their rice, so they had no choice but to desperately fight against the Qin army until the end. Hsiang Yu’s army charged without a second thought towards their enemy. They ultimately defeated the Qin army. Hsiang Yu became a hero who symbolized the power of never giving up. Since this time, this story has been used as an analogy for never giving up and fighting relentlessly until the end.
It is already October. Although we may be in different circumstances, I’m sure soon-to-be graduates are thinking about their future career paths. Some may find a job, start up a business, or continue their studies by pursuing a master’s degree.
It is more advantageous to highlight one’s unique experiences rather than building up one’s credentials like many others when searching for careers. However, many students have a preconceived notion you need to invest a lot of time and money in things, such as an overseas language program, in order to have these experiences. But students can have these unique experiences just by taking advantage of elective or major courses offered by the university.
Starting up a business requires passion. Some students choose to start up their own business as an alternative to finding a job, but in these cases the likelihood for success is slim. Starting up a business requires knowledge in many areas compared to a regular job and management skills, in particular, are essential. Thus, much preparation is needed before starting up a business and this can be done by taking related courses offered by the university.
On the other hand, obtaining a master’s degree requires a specific plan on life after graduation. If not, it will be a waste of time and money which will only contribute to academic inflation.
Whichever direction, one needs to take control of one’s life. Worrying excessively about one’s future is not the answer. In the end, the right decision will be made at the right time after careful consideration and that decision should be executed like “Pa Bu Chim Joo” — never give up and fight until the end.
The current university environment is undergoing drastic changes. There are many cases where unfavorable aspects are highlighted instead of favorable ones. However, crises can turn into opportunities. Our current situation can be an opportunity for growth. However, we all need to take control and make decisions by fully utilizing the circumstances we are given. Furthermore, we must have the determination to realize our goals which is the essence of the “Pa Bu Chim Joo” spirit.
Translated by Julia Kim
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